Beverley Folk Festival’s World War I War Horse Project is galloping full steam ahead in preparation for this year’s festival event at Beverley Racecourse from June 20th to 22nd and we’re proud to be providing sponsorship.
War Horse author Michael Morpurgo is also supporting the project and will be appearing on stage to read from his book in a show entitled “War Horse: Only Remembered” on June 21.
School students, The Millers Centre for vulnerable people in Beverley and Hull Prison have all been looking back at World War I and learning about its impact on the local area in the project which culminates in a Main Stage performance at the festival on Sunday, June 22.
The performance will feature a dramatisation of letters written by students from Longcroft School in Beverley. To offer the students inspiration, Christopher Oughtred, a member of the family which owns the William Jackson Food Group, shared letters his grandfather Jack Oughtred sent home during World War I.
The students thoroughly enjoyed Christopher’s visit and Vicki Morris, Longcroft School’s Deputy Curriculum Leader of English, said: “This was a wonderful opportunity for our students to hear a personal account of what it was like living in the trenches during World War One. It was a privilege to welcome Mr Oughtred into Longcroft to talk to us about his grandfather, Jack, and to allow us to see and touch items that were precious to him, such as the medals he was awarded and the silver cigarette case his fiancée Phyliss sent him one Christmas in the trenches. This personal story brought home the realities of daily life for soldiers during the conflict and will help inspire our students as they write letters in the person of young men at the front and the replies they might have received from family and friends back home.”
Beverley Folk Festival’s Artistic Director Chris Wade, said: “This is a very exciting project and the enthusiasm from everyone involved has been tremendous – I can’t wait to see the results of everyone’s hard work. We are really grateful to our partners the William Jackson Food Group in Hull for showing such great support for the project, both financially and in their great enthusiasm for it.”
Pupils from Hymers School in Hull are also preparing a piece for the festival as are Hull Prisoners have been looking into the history of men from Hull who went to fight in the Great War and never returned. The festival will have its very own full-sized puppet War Horse, produced by The Millers Centre from recycled material.
Chairman of the William Jackson Food Group, which owns Aunt Bessie’s and Jackson’s Bakery in Hull, Nicholas Oughtred said: “To support a project like this which involves so many local people in the year that marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I is a privilege. We’re delighted we could help financially but also very happy to take part with pupils at Longcroft School.”